As the months continue, many are looking for ways to disconnect from their virtual meetings and longer work hours amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we are working from home, it has become more difficult to set a clear boundary between work and home life. With travel not being a possibility and vacations looking much different and more localized this year, it’s time to get creative on ways to disconnect and still enjoy some time away from work.
Below are some ways that you can disconnect from work:
1. Stop bringing your phone everywhere. Most of us carry our phones wherever we go, even if we’re in the house. Whether you’re heading out for a walk or passing through the dining room, try and break yourself of the habit of picking up your phone and carrying with you. Hopefully, by breaking this habit, you might find yourself to be less distracted and able to be more present with friends and family.
2. Turn off your notifications. If you’re going to disconnect, then truly disconnect. Staying in an in-between state where you are frequently checking your email and phone notifications to see what’s going on will not help decrease your stress level — or give you peace of mind. Taking some time away from work will help you re-center, recharge, and feel refreshed when you return to work.
3. Go for walks. In these difficult times, enjoying outdoor activities is key. While using safe practices like social distancing and wearing a face covering, get outside and take a long walk around your neighborhood. Leave your phone at home, and allow yourself to truly unplug and enjoy the fresh air. As some added fun, maybe partake in a fitness challenge with friends and family to see who can walk the highest number of steps.
4. Set up “screen-less” time. So much of our daily personal and professional lives (especially in the age of remote work) is centered around technology, yet there are still many activities we can accomplish without looking at a screen. Make a conscious effort to have conversations with family, cook a nice meal, listen to music, have a dance party in your house, or even have a picnic outside — whatever it takes to clear your mind and enjoy being in the present moment.
5. Safely spend time with friends and family. While most countries are rightfully still taking major precautions around quarantining and staying home, the CDC does state that spending time in person is acceptable if practicing social distancing. They state, “before going out, know and follow the guidance from local public health authorities where you live. If meeting others in person (e.g., at small outdoor gatherings, yard or driveway gathering with a small group of friends or family members), stay at least 6 feet from others who are not from your household.” This will allow you to still enjoy social experiences while taking the necessary precautions.
While this year feels more challenging than most, it’s more important than ever to disconnect and spend time recharging to fight burnout and fatigue that can easily be onset with the rise of COVID-19. By using these steps above, hopefully you can rest and re-center before preparing for the fall and the return of some activities like work or school.